Husband, father of dead food pantry director face theft charges

  • Kenneth M. Spaeth of Yorkville has been charged with theft of at least $10,000 from the Kendall County Food Pantry.

    Kenneth M. Spaeth of Yorkville has been charged with theft of at least $10,000 from the Kendall County Food Pantry.

  • Maria Spaeth

    Maria Spaeth

 
 
Updated 1/17/2017 8:53 PM

The husband and the father of the late director of the Kendall County Food Pantry have been charged with stealing money from the pantry.

A Kendall County grand jury Friday indicted Kenneth Spaeth, 55, and William Crowley, 76, both of Yorkville, according to documents filed Tuesday with the Kendall County circuit court clerk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Both are charged with felony theft in excess of $10,000, according to the indictments.

Spaeth is accused of stealing between Dec. 1, 2013, and April 30, 2016. Crowley is accused of stealing between July 1, 2013, and March 30, 2016.

Spaeth is the widower of Maria Spaeth, who was director of the charity pantry from 2008 until May 2016. He also was treasurer of the pantry. Both were unpaid positions.

Bail was set at $25,000 for each man. Spaeth posted bond Tuesday afternoon at the Kendall County sheriff's department. No information was available about Crowley.

The felony charge is punishable by probation or up to seven years in prison.

The Spaeths resigned their duties in June after Yorkville police began investigating a complaint that as much as $200,000 had gone missing from the pantry. Police hauled away seven boxes of documents from the pantry, including records of a "Midlands Visa" credit card account held by the pantry, according to court records.

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According to LinkedIn, a Kenneth Spaeth was market president and group leader for Midland States Bank, including its Yorkville branch, from February 2013 to August 2016.

In mid-June, Maria Spaeth died of a combination of sedatives and painkillers, at the Spaeths' other home in Lake Holiday. How her death happened has been ruled unknown by the DeKalb County coroner.

The house at the address listed for Spaeth and Crowley, on Emily Court in Yorkville, was empty Tuesday, with a for-sale sign in front.

The case is being prosecuted by a special prosecutor from the Illinois State's Attorney Appellate Prosecutor office, because Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis used to serve on the food pantry's board of directors. Weis requested the special prosecutor last summer.

Yorkville police, the prosecutor and the chairman of the reorganized pantry were not available for comment Tuesday afternoon.

After the investigation began, and Maria Spaeth's death, community leaders created a new organization to run the pantry in Yorkville, which has been renamed the Kendall County Community Food Pantry.

Among changes it has made is no longer having spouses serve on the board together. Formerly, the board of directors consisted of married couples, including now-state Rep. Keith Wheeler and his wife, Lisa, of Oswego.

Last August, Wheeler introduced legislation to increase the penalty for people convicted of stealing from a charity.

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